Culture, Resilience, and Health
‘Culture’ is one of the most understudied dimensions of resilience as a pathway to health. Our program examines resilience across cultures, integrating qualitative and quantitative research to connect the dots between cultural values, socio-political structures, family-level resilience, and individual health outcomes. Projects in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone focus specifically on parenting, mental health, and family-level resilience.
- Resilience and Mental Health in Afghanistan. Mark Eggerman and Catherine Panter-Brick have conducted the first longitudinal survey of child and adolescent mental health in Afghanistan – a project designed to integrate cross-cultural psychiatric epidemiology with medical anthropology. With analysis of longitudinal data, they provide evidence for the cluster of adversities that impact family wellbeing and the mental health cascade across generations. They also identify the culturally-meaningful leverage points for building family-level resilience, relevant to the prevention and intervention agenda in global mental health.
- An Ethnographic Study of Father-Child Interactions & Child Development in Sierra Leone. This study, led by Kristen McLean, provides much-needed data on how men raise their children in the aftermath of conflict, and the impact of father engagement on family dynamics and child wellbeing. The study is embedded within the research program directed by Professor Theresa Betancourt on the intergenerational impact of war in Sierra Leone. For the Harvard program, please see: http://fxb.harvard.edu/research-program-on-children-and-global-adversity/
- Mental health and idioms of distress in Haiti. For her work in Haiti, Kristen McLean is collaborating on a project led by Dr. Brandon Korht, on suicide, depression, and care-seeking behaviors.
- Mental health, psychosocial distress, and stress biomarkers: Amelia Sancilio is evaluating measures of wellbeing in Afghanistan, in collaboration with Drs. Catherine Panter-Brick, Mark Eggerman, Andrew Rasmussen, and Peter Ventevogel. Her work compares the extent to which screening for poor mental health (using a standard WHO scale) maps onto psychosocial distress (using a culturally-specific scale) and physiological stress (using biomarkers such as blood pressure).
Eggerman M and Panter-Brick C (2010). Suffering, hope, and entrapment: Resilience and cultural values in Afghanistan. Social Science & Medicine 71:71-83.
Hagaman AK, Wagenaar BH, McLean KE, Winskell K, Kaiser BN, and Kohrt BA. (2013). Suicide in rural Haiti: Clinical and community perceptions of prevalence, etiology, and prevention. Social Science & Medicine, 83, 61-9.
Panter-Brick C, Grimon, Marie-Pascale, and Eggerman M (2013). Caregiver-child mental health: A prospective study in conflict and refugee settings. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (in press).
Panter-Brick C, Goodman A, Tol W, Eggerman M (2011). Mental health and childhood adversities: A longitudinal study in Kabul, Afghanistan. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 50(4):349-363.
Panter-Brick C, Eggerman M, Gonzalez V, Safdar S (2009). Ongoing violence, social suffering and mental health: A school-based survey in Afghanistan. The Lancet 374: 807-16.
Panter-Brick C, Eggerman M, Mojadidi A, McDade T (2008). Social stressors, mental health, and physiological stress in an urban elite of young Afghans in Kabul. American Journal of Human Biology 20(6):627-641.
Wagenaar BH, Hagaman AK, Kaiser BN, McLean KE, Kohrt BA. (2012). Depression, suicidal ideation, and associated factors: a cross-sectional study in rural Haiti. BMC Psychiatry, 12:149.